Friday, October 11, 2013

To secede or not to secede

For some states in the deep South where Breckinridge was overwhelmingly supported, secession was the logical course of action after Lincoln's election.  Others, however, especially border states, remained torn over the pros and cons.  What are some of the ideas that the readings suggest that may have motivated the border states to leave or to stay in the Union?


  1. The border states were torn between leaving the union or staying in the union, a decision that would change the future of the United States. In East Tennessee, “the proportion of slave-owning families was far less than that generally in the south.” Lincoln stated that if the people, “ continue to execute all the express provisions of our national constitution, and under the Union will endure forever- it being impossible to destroy.” Lincoln believed that if we remained true to the constitution, the Union will not be in danger. In his address, Lincoln goes on to say that, “ but if by destruction of the Union, by one or by a part, only of the states... the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution.” Lincoln is saying that is border states were to leave the Union, the Union would no longer be perfect. Lincoln also addresses the fact that the Civil War is not in his hands but rather the peoples hands In the article, “Succession in the Lower South,” it discusses that they desired to break up the Union and they used slavery as an excuse to do it. Also, the thought that border states would now have “immense regions exporting its produce and importing its merchandise,” swayed border states opinions whether to leave the Union or join it.

  2. According to these readings, there are some ideas for both leave or stay in the Union.
    The reason why those border states and the South should get out of the Union were considered more as the view of border states and the South.
    1. The border states should not stay in the Union because the Union actually brought negative effects to these states, if the South choose to stay in the union, its position would be hopeless and no longer equal.
    2. The South could also loss its states (assimilated by other Northern states) and lost safety and equality in the Union.
    3. The conflicts caused by slavery should be solved by separate the two section and leave he union.
    4. The union would bring disaster to the South, Republicans would limit slavery.
    5. Those states would be "filled by the natural multiplication of colored people until the pressure of the blacks became intolerable."
    6. Conflicts of races would be caused if those states choose to stay in the Union.
    7. If stay in the union, the economy of the South would be crashed because slavery economy played a big role in its economy.
    8. There would be more conflicts and tension appeared in the Union, which could cause more damage for these states.

    The reason why those border states should stay in the Union was considered more as the view of the country.
    1. If the South choose to stay in the union, it could give the South protection and protect the South from other countries that are hostile to the South.
    2. If the South get out of the Union, it destructs the union, and the union would "lost its vital element of perpetuity and became not as perfect as before the constitution." 3. If any states wanted to get out of the Union, the action was considered againsting the authority of the US.
    4. From the view of constitution and laws. the border states should stay in the union.
    5. There was security for everybody who was a part of the Union.
    6. States in the Union are not enemies, but friends, we should treat each other better because we were in the same country.

  3. After reading the three articles there were many reasons presented as to whether states should secede or stay in the union. In the article, "The Forces Behind Secession in the Lower South" the lower states were finally able to seize the opportunity because the legislature of South Carolina was in secession at the time of the election and it was possible for one state to be very influential towards other states. They could gain confidence and influence other states to secede instead of just one. This was made possible by the "central factor" which was a triple fronted sentiment which had been put in place among the southern people who believed in state rights, hatred for the free-soil movement in the north, and believed in a happy southern republic. Some other motives for secession was pride. In the article, "Abraham Lincoln First Inaugural Address" many accounted for the union as more mature and older than the constitution and that the constitution was just made "to form a more perfect union," but if one secedes from the union it becomes less perfect and can potentially cause more chaos. Others believe that the people who only want to secede want anarchy as well. But some believed they should also stay in the union because if another country potentially tried to attack the south or any state in the Union they could provide protection. Also states admitted in the Union were supposed to act as friends instead of enemies meanwhile they're fighting on whether to secede or not.

  4. After I read these readings I found that there was a controversy for the border states. They either stayed or leaved the union. Citizens of each state decided for that state whether or not to secede, either directly through votes or via the actions of their state legislators. Here's why the border states of Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia decided to stay in the Union despite being slave-owning states. The position of Missouri in relation to the adjacent States which would continue in the Union, would necessarily expose her, if she became a member of a new confederacy, to utter destruction whenever any rupture might take place between the different republics. Lincoln was also basically saying that if the border states were to leave the Union, the Union would no longer be as perfect as they dreamed of. Lincoln later also addressed the fact that the Civil War is not in his hands but rather the peoples hands. This whole thing was a bunch of chaotic unnecessary violence.

  5. When the South finally made it official decision to succeed from the Union, border states were very torn weather to join the south or stay with the Union. The border states were also hesitant on their decision because since they are in the middle of the two opposing sides, they would most likely have the battle in these states. A con of joining the Union would be the abolishing of slavery in these states would cause the economies to crash. A con to joining the South would be that the Union has a stronger advantage because its population was so much bigger than the South. Lincoln in his inaugural speech stated that the Union was and older and more mature and how the constitution formed the perfect Union. I think this statement was used send a message to border states and tell them if they join the South then they are joining a weak and unstable "country" and will have no success.

  6. After reading the three selections, "The Forces Behind Secession in the Lower South" , "Abraham Lincoln First Inaugural Address", "Secession in a Border State." You can tell that the boarder states are in a difficult situation. They do not know which side to join. The Lincoln lead Union or the Succeed South. The boarder states had pros and cons for both sides, but one thing that held in a bad spot was that they knew they were the midpoint between the north and the south. This means that their homes and land will be where the civil war will be fought. The con of joining the Union of would be the abolishment slavery which would lead to the fail of there economy. They didn't want to join the south because the Union had the advantage over them in the war.

  7. After reading these articles, some of the reasons some southern states should have seceded were because joining the union would bring racial problems, the economic standing would crash because slavery was a huge income source for the south and the south might lose some of their land. Some of the other reasons these boarder states should have stayed with the union was that the south could get protection from the north and also security from civilians who stuck with the union and the union states were all allies.